The Department of Education said it plans to investigate a “Redneck Day” held at an Arizona high school over charges from civil rights activists that it created hostile school environment.
The “Redneck Day” event at Queen Creek High School took place in May, and was meant to satirize A&E’s popular “Duck Dynasty” reality series, The Arizona Republic reported. After one student wore a Confederate flag, a local pastor called on the Department of Education to investigate any racial discrimination within the school.
“I found it to be offensive,” Rev. Jarrett Maupin told azfamily.com. “I think many in the community did and the department responded.” According to the Arizona Daily Independent, Maupin was sentenced to five years of probation in 2009 for making a false report to the FBI.
In a letter last week, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said the Confederate flag was protected under the First Amendment, but that it will investigate “whether a racially hostile environment was created due to language and actions that were not protected by the First Amendment.”
Another pastor, whose grandson Marcus Still was a 16-year-old junior at the school, said in May that the very classification of “Redneck Day” was offensive.
“This thing really got to Marcus,” Rev. Ozetta Kirby told The Republic. “When you’re in 11th grade, that can break you down and make you feel at the bottom rung of the whole society, where everybody is being jubilant. No kid should have to go through that. We all know the connotation of ‘redneck.’”